Scott Hardie | February 13, 2020
With Daniel Craig about to retire from playing James Bond, which version of Bond has been your favorite, and which Bond movie has been your favorite?

Darel Albert | February 13, 2020
(Denise and I just recently watched EVERY Bond film.) While it often seems that the "original is always best," I feel Daniel Craig really became the best Bond. Casino Royale and Skyfall not only reinvented the series, but perfected it as well. Bond became more of a deconstruction of the character, including adding flaws, failings, and male vulnerability, (which to me is much more interesting than the one dimensional macho action heroes of the past.) Also rather than the usual more polarized good guys/bad guys model, the "villains" are not only more morally gray, but Bond, M (Judi Dench), and others are as well.

That said, the next best Bond is EASILY Sean Connery!

My top 10
1. Skyfall
2. Casino Royale
3. From Russia With Love
4. Goldfinger
5. Dr. No
6. You Only Live Twice
7. Thunderball
8. The Spy Who Loved Me
9. From Your Majesty's Secret Service--(oddly added some vulnerable moments well before Craig)
10. For Your Eyes Only-----
--honorable mentions--
11. Goldeneye
12. License To Kill
13. Spectre
14. The Living Daylights

Scott Hardie | February 15, 2020
Is it me, or is Bond consistently best when taken seriously? I haven't seen many of the self-parodizing Bond movies like Roger Moore's, but when he becomes a cartoon character and the movie is one big self-aware joke, it never seems to turn out well. Take Pierce Brosnan's four movies for instance: They progressed from serious to cartoonish, and their quality declined in direct proportion. When I say "cartoonish," it's not just resistance to reality (I still remember rolling my eyes at Quantum of Solace when Bond falls out of the sky without a parachute and gets up and dusts himself off); it's taking the inner life of the character seriously as a human being.

Casino Royale might remain my favorite Bond movie for that reason. It wounds Bond in body, which is rare enough, but it wounds him much more on the inside. He comes across at first like a tank in the action scenes, but he turns out to be surprisingly complex and vulnerable emotionally. I haven't seen it, but I'm aware of George Lazenby's sole film being popular among fans for the same reason.

Skyfall is pretty good too, but for me it was undermined a bit by mission creep. Daniel Craig's Bond is supposed to be a totally new version of the character, and we see him meeting Q and Moneypenny for the first time. But in the same movie, he's called a dinosaur who's been in the spy game for too long, and he possesses a classic 1960s-era Aston Martin. Is he a new Bond or the old Bond?

Spectre got such middling reviews that I skipped it, but maybe I'll catch up with it in time for No Time to Die.

Also, Darel, welcome to the site! I'm glad to hear your thoughts on this! :-)

Darel Albert | February 15, 2020
Great points Scott! I very much agree with Bond not working as well when acting like a cartoon character. There were some great moments and villains (Scaramanga, May Day etc,) in many Roger Moore films for sure. But they were overshadowed by outlandish attempts at humor, such as when he jumped on crocodile's heads like Atari Pitfall, or this actually decent stunt, ruined by a single sound effect.

That is definitely valid points you raise concerning Skyfall. (Perhaps I will have to switch it with Casino Royale for the number 1 spot myself!)

Quantum Of Solace was unfortunate, but I definitely can recommend Spectre overall. Within the shadow of such well done entries as Casino Royale and Skyfall, it's failings tend to stand out all the more, despite being a well done film on its own merits. It does have some fun subtle homages to past films, (although it does pull the reigns back on the various elements that made the aforementioned titles so unique.) Fingers crossed on the next Bond film. Hopefully it will tie a neat ribbon on Craig's overall impressive contribution in the always evolving Bond saga.

And sure thing, it was great to participate in the discussion despite usually being a bit shy. Denise urged me to put my two cents in as we just saw them all lol. It was fun to do, thanks.

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